Ubisoft’s puzzle adventure title “Valiant Hearts: The Great War” launches today for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC, and the game may be worth checking out, according to several reviews.
The concept behind platform game “Valiant Hearts” is certainly original. The title is inspired by actual letters written during World War I, which took place from 1914-1918. The story revolves around three strangers who come together on the battlefield to help a young German soldier find his love, creating a story about “survival, sacrifice and friendship.”
Ubisoft announced the title on its blog last fall, along with the game’s description:
Solve puzzles and sneak through enemy lines while doing your best to stay alive. Each of the four playable characters (including the lovelorn German soldier) work alongside the same faithful canine companion at different times, all trying to survive in the trenches while doing their best to hold onto their humanity in the face of loss and tragedy. Though it’s set during a dark time in history, there are lighthearted (and even comical) moments spread throughout the game.
The title’s three main characters are Freddie, an American who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion; Anna, a medic who fled Paris to help injured soldiers in the war; Karl, a German ex-patriot deported from his home in France at the start of the war and Emile, Karl’s father-in-law. Karl was enlisted early in the war.
“Valiant Hearts” features very little dialogue, though some reviews are calling the game’s silent-film nature one of its greatest strengths. You also befriend a trained war dog at the beginning of the game.
“The story is the primary draw here, but play revolves around solving a cadre of puzzles more than actual combat,” PC World said. “You'll occasionally knock out a guard or shoot an artillery round, but most of the time you're collecting items from the environment a la a point-and-click adventure game.”
Despite Ubisoft calling “Valiant Hearts” a puzzle game, don’t expect Zelda-style puzzle challenges.
“The game is so easy, it's basically a showcase for the team's story and artwork, and that's absolutely fine. This is the only video game I've ever played that's adequately represented World War I—hell, it's one of the only recent pieces in any medium to take a look at World War I,” PC World added.
“’Valiant Hearts’ doesn't simply use comic portraits as a stylistic crutch. There are smart details in the art that connect to the story, sometimes in a simple foreground photo that tells you something about Anna's only family, and other times in a cutaway panel filled with peril,” Joystiq said.
“By the time you perform one of the game's final acts, a moment so brilliantly orchestrated as to be instinctual, you might wonder what it is you've learned in this sometimes sanitized, sometimes upsetting war.”
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